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Penstemmon cuttings

(6 Posts)
didireallysaythat Tue 26-Jan-16 20:57:59

I will confess up front: I have a track record of killing penstemmon.

However the two latest victims I bought in the spring last year were still alive at the end of the summer (flowers were disappointing but alive has to count for something, right?). So I took cuttings, expecting the mother plants to die (they haven't) and the cuttings to die (they haven't either).

Now I have probably half a dozen penstemmon cuttings in an unheated greenhouse, still alive. Roots poking through the bottom.

Should I rest on my laurels, and wait for their evitable demise, or is there something I should do (pot on?) to encourage them ? Or is potting on a spring time activity ?

shovetheholly Wed 27-Jan-16 10:04:17

It's been a really, really mild winter and a lot of things that might get hit back in a hard one are still going strong! You still did the right thing taking cuttings, though - if it had been snowy and frosty, you might have lost them. Oh, and you're not the only one to complain about penstemons not flowering well last year - a lot of people have been saying that. I think the weather didn't suit them.

Penstemons that have overwintered in the garden need a bit of care to stop them going all straggly and woody and 'orrible - the 'pruning' section here is a really good explanation of what you do: You can go in quite hard with the secateurs!

It sounds as though your greenhouse cuttings will need potting on fairly soon - as long as they don't dehydrate completely and aren't sodden wet either, they should be OK for the next few weeks. If you have five or six to a pot, I'd be tempted to put each into a little individual pot and grow on a bit before planting out - means they're a bit bigger and thus better able to resist attack from pests!

didireallysaythat Wed 27-Jan-16 20:13:09

Thanks holly - I'll pot them on this weekend. I've also got several on the kitchen window sill which are the same size. I also find one in the cold frame next to the green house that's putting on new growth. I'll leave the main plants well alone as I'm sure I killed some a few years ago by over zealous pruning too early.

I've also got fushia cuttings which have taken to my surprise. We're planning some building work in the summer so I started taking cuttings just in case things don't survive the transplant....

Ferguson Sat 30-Jan-16 20:15:19

Most fuchsia are very easy! Once they have a few roots, and you can see they are alive, you can decide what sort of plant you want to turn it into:

If you regularly take off all the side shoots, you can train it to be a 'standard', several feet tall! Conversely, take off the top shoots, so it 'bushes out' and you can keep it short but dense. (Different varieties will react in different ways). When little flower buds appear, take off the first ones and you will get more and more flowers. There is almost no limit to the fun you can have with fuchsias!

funnyperson Sun 31-Jan-16 06:00:29

Thanks for this ferguson I am going to make a bonsai fuschia from a cutting!

didireallysaythat Sun 31-Jan-16 08:35:27

Thank you all !

I potted on yesterday (bit worried no grit, vermiculite, just regular compost and shriek, not sieved). I think I might have to buy a few more plastic covers for the trays as it's nippy at night.

I did my fushia cuttings all wrong - so we'll see how that goes. But the fushia website is great. I've a biggish hardy fushia which I need to dig up and move this spring. I guess now might be a good time as it's fairly dormant.

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